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L Robinson (Sunderland)
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Flowers 2015 Gallery Calendar (Workman Gallery Calendar)
Flowers 2015 Gallery Calendar (Workman Gallery Calendar)
by Workman
Edition: Calendar

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This item is beautifully produced and I fully expected to give it 5 ..., 3 Jan. 2015
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This item is beautifully produced and I fully expected to give it 5 stars. It loses 3 of them for misleading advertising - it states on the front that it is a 'page a day' calendar, but each page actually covers 2 days - one on the front and one on the reverse of each card. For most people, this wouldn't matter at all, but I was specifically looking for a calendar that had each day on a separate page. I buy one each year for a relative with dementia, and use the blank reverse side to write down what she can expect to happen that day. This calendar was therefore useless to us and I'm going to have to buy a replacement.


New Baby Girl Card - Gorgeous Girl Tree - Finely Embossed in Gold (5763)
New Baby Girl Card - Gorgeous Girl Tree - Finely Embossed in Gold (5763)
Offered by 24/7 DIRECT
Price: £3.75

5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 10 Nov. 2014
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fabulous


Beautiful Creatures: Dangerous Dream
Beautiful Creatures: Dangerous Dream
Price: £0.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but not a 'must buy', 13 Mar. 2014
I was given a copy of this book by Netgalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

This is a series prequel. It concentrates on Ridley and the mess she gets into over a game of cards, although it is initially written from Ethan's POV. Whilst it was a pleasant and engrossing read, it doesn't have an ending as much as a 'now read on...' so it's pretty unsatisfying as a stand-alone. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't have been happy to pay the £1.99 currently being asked for it on Amazon UK. I think readers would have been better served if it had been included at the start of the first book in the Dangerous series, or as an 'extra' at the end of the Beautiful series.


Welcome To The Underworld
Welcome To The Underworld
Price: £2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars More! Now!, 23 May 2013
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I still miss Barry Hughart's writing and in my opinion this is the closest that anyone has come to his subject matter and tone in years. Confession time - I don't have anything to add to the other reviews but the author said that he'd only write more if there was a demand for them. I'm hereby demanding. I need to know what really happened in the mountains.


The Lives of Tao
The Lives of Tao
Price: £4.79

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You need this book!, 2 May 2013
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This review is from: The Lives of Tao (Kindle Edition)
It's a perfectly formed piece of fiction and a joy to read. I stayed up till 5am to finish it because I couldn't bear to put it down.

This is the story of how a pizza loving, under-achieving slob (Roen) has his mind and body invaded by an ancient alien with an agenda (Tao). They're stuck with each other until Roen dies - and unless he puts in a lot of hard physical work, that's not likely to be very long at all. It's time for Roen to man up. He's not keen.

Tao is a major player in his faction's ongoing war against their erstwhile brother aliens. They can't survive the Earth's atmosphere outside of a host body and they can only move bodies if the old one dies. Jumping into Roen was an act of desperation on Tao's part but his inconvenient morals won't let him send a kill order just so that he can transfer out. The war is hotting up and his superiors need him back in the game ASAP. They don't much care who his host is as long as he is capable of getting the job done. They're pretty sure Roen isn't; and soon Tao is fighting on three fronts - the Genjix, his impatient bosses and his unwilling host.

Roen's life is changing whether he likes it or not. Could it turn out that he likes the new one better?

This book was funny, absorbing and inventive. I really hope there's a sequel in the pipeline.


National Trust Oat Crumbles 150 g (Pack of 3)
National Trust Oat Crumbles 150 g (Pack of 3)

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely gorgeous, 27 Mar. 2013
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Lovely oat flavour and divine crumbly texture. You'll not buy a better plain biscuit than these and they are amazing value for money. Worryingly addictive, though...


The Department of Alterations: A Tor.Com Original (Crewel World)
The Department of Alterations: A Tor.Com Original (Crewel World)
Price: £0.77

2.0 out of 5 stars More of a vignette than a short story, 6 Jan. 2013
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This is set in the same world as 'Crewel' and probably won't make much sense unless you've read that book first. It was an interesting insight into one of the (extremely) minor Crewel characters, and a pretty good little story but I can't honestly recommend it. This is because whilst Amazon estimates the length as 44 pages it only took a few minutes to read. Even more irritating is the fact that it ends when according to my Kindle the ebook is only at 27% - the rest of it is a massive sample of Crewel. Which I'd already read.

It's not long enough to justify even the small sum of 64p currently being asked. This is the kind of story that should be a free 'extra' on an author's website.

Crewel is worth buying, though...


The Rook (The Checquy Files Book 1)
The Rook (The Checquy Files Book 1)
Price: £3.79

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I want more!, 19 Jun. 2012
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Daniel O'Malley has shot straight into my 'must-buy' list of authors with this incredible book.

Myfanwy isn't Myfanwy any more. She's woken up in a field surrounded by bodies, with two black eyes, a potential new name and a letter in her pocket explaining that she's in big trouble. Lucky for us. The first part of the book suffers a little from info dump - there are loads of letters from M1 explaining how her life worked before it fell apart - but please don't let that put you off. Once the action kicks in there's no let up.

Given the glut of supernatural books over the past few years, it says a lot for the author's skill that the world created feels fresh and is engrossing. There's a version of how one type of predator (it's so hard to talk about this without giving the character away) is created that I can't recall having read before.

Myfanwy is a great invention. She proves the old adage that it's always the quiet ones you have to watch. M1 is dismissed by her colleagues as a mousy administrator, so I loved seeing M2 roar into life and shake them up. O'Malley didn't leave M1 as a single note character either. She had a depth and strength that led her on adventures her detractors would never have thought her capable of. M1's stoicism in the face of her own impending destruction was heartbreaking, and her determination to exercise a measure of control over the aftermath was inspiring. The other characters are wonderful (even when they're horrible). My heart was in my mouth over the fate of a few of my favourites near the end.

The thing I liked best of all was the way humour and action were combined so that each enhanced rather than detracted from the other. I couldn't bear to put the book down until it was finished, and now it's over I wish I'd made it last longer. I really hope there's a sequel in the pipeline, and that Daniel O'Malley is a fast writer.


Jaggy Splinters
Jaggy Splinters
Price: £1.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not up to his usual high standard, 8 Jun. 2012
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This review is from: Jaggy Splinters (Kindle Edition)
There are only two stories in this collection that are not already available as free reads on the author's website.

'Place b' is mainly a rant against homeopathy with a teeny tiny plot squeezed around it. I felt that it consisted of too much opinion and too little story.
'The Resurrection' is very short but a good tale. I finished the whole book in about an hour.

I usually love Mr B's writing, but I didn't feel that the 2 new stories were worth the £2.99 cost so it's only getting 3 stars I'm afraid.


Blackout
Blackout
Price: £4.99

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Like opening a beautifully wrapped parcel and finding a pair of socks..., 5 Jun. 2012
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This review is from: Blackout (Kindle Edition)
...this book seriously failed to live up to its potential. The premise is interesting and there's no doubt that Connie Willis can write engagingly but that's where the good stuff ends, I'm afraid. It's awful to speak negatively about the hard work of a talented author. I blame my need to do so entirely on the fact that someone failed to sack this book's editor (and appoint a competent one) prior to publication.

I read other reader's reviews before buying this book but I found the free sample intriguing enough to override my good sense. Don't make my mistake - the other reviewers are telling the truth!

The amount of obstacles put in the way of the three historians who are trying to return to their drops is insane. It starts out believable but ends up as a bad case of 'oh, for crying out loud - not again! Have you no other plot device in your bag of authorly tricks?'. Towards the end of the book, Polly is trying to convince herself that the Oxford staff will rescue her. She uses the phrase 'this was time travel' so often that I started to think her last name might well be 'Parrot'. Lazy, lazy, lazy.

The books ends so abruptly and without any real resolution of the narrative arc that it is

Yep. Like that. Irritating in a review sentence but infuriating in a novel. This is not a two book story. It is a poorly edited single book that is made all the worse by glimpses of the great story that it could have been and it gives me absolutely no pleasure to say so.


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